Thursday, October 29, 2009

This and that

My days as of late have been more siesta....less cupcake.

I am aching to bake! But alas I know, should I bake I will eat. I admittedly have not been following my exercise plan. I'm doing a little of this and a little of that and that but really not accomplishing much of anything at all.

Which is why I've been slow with the blogging lately. All talk and no action makes Kaloula a very dull girl. And frankly, I'm tired of it. With no good progress to report, I've taken the stop blogging and talking about it so much stance. What was meant to keep me accountable is not working. What the hell works?? I need somma that please!

On a bit of a brighter note, my chubby frog pants! Well, they're just too durn big!! Which is all at once exciting yet dang it all, I just spent all that money, and wore the pants making them unreturnable to find that out. Also, well I could always wear a belt but who thinks to put on such conventional things? Not me clearly. The other day I was walking around in the new cords I bought and they were loose, giving me a false sense of skinniness. If your pants are too big it should automatically make you skinny, no? Today I put the ol faithful jeans back on, and they are just a wee bit snug so there I have it. I'm am destined to wear ill fitting pants till I lose weight.

There I go talking about it again.

I had grand plans of cooking tonight, a recipe I was formulating in my head, but then I ran out of time and ended up making an easy weeknight standby from The Mommala. I sauteed up some onion, pepper, and garlic with ground chicken, mixed in 1/2 cup combined bbq sauce and ketchup. Unroll a tube of croissant dough and press it all together, then put the meat down the center of the dough, and roll the sides up. A little of the top will be exposed, cover it with cheddar cheese and pop it in the oven for about 15 minutes. Another easy fail proof weeknight dinner. I have no pictures, as we ate it up.

I am retaking the GRE at the end of the month, this time I hope with less anxiety. :) November looks to be yet another ca-razy month, let's dive in shall we?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I need a vacation.

GRE anxiety-ridden + Sick + Busybusybusy = One exhausted Kaloula

GRE anxiety-riddent + Sick + Busybusybusy + One exhausted Kaloula = Fajita Night!

No recipe needed. Go to Sam's Club, pick up premade chicken fajita strips, bag o' guac (doctored with tomato, cilantro, onion, and jalapeno), prepackaged fajita veggie mix, box of rice and beans and there you have it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

GRE: I've been studying, I would like to say studying my booty off, but I just checked and said booty still there.

SICK: AGAIN. ARGH and SNARK. In a semi maybe fully related matter. I believe I pick up these bugs at work. First of all -- if you're sick, please stay home. You may feel you can "tough it out" No my friend. Unless you want the dirty snarky looks from those you are infecting as you sneeze and cough with such reckless abandon as to where your germ friends are freed, namely THE LUNGS AND NASAL PASSAGES OF EVERYONE AROUND YOU. There's no such thing as "Bring your germs to work day" We don't want any. Thank you.

And secondly. (Kaloula says with a smile) Work leaves me impecunious. ($5 GRE word) But I am happy to be employed.

Here's what I currently have pumping through my blood so that I can be focused for studies:

BUSYBUSYBUSY: A word on being busy. I think back to high school, when I would get up at o'dark thirty for swim practice, followed by school all day, and another couple hours of swim practice followed by homework. Add to it (when did I find time for this I don't know!) 3 ! part time jobs, going to an occasional party, volunteer work, church, ample tv watching, reading books for fun, hanging out with friends. When the heck did I find time?! I think as you get older maybe the days actually grow shorter.

I'm having trouble figuring how to fit it all in. Working full time, taking 3 college courses, studying for GRE, volunteering, general home maintanence, spending time with hubby, exercising, going to church, BLOGGING. I wonder if high school me coulda did this? I have no time for the fun stuff, except for 1 much needed date a week. There are some who do all that AND have kids and make me feel like such a slacker. Phew I've got enough on my plate!

The only way for me not to turn into a ball of mush having a giant panic attack, completely overwhelmed, crying in a corner and screaming for mercy is to keep myself centered. If I lose sight of my goals I feel like a hamster on the spinny wheel on the long road to nowhere.

So I try to read a motivating book, just a couple pages before bed to remind me of the bigger vision. Right now I'm switching back and forth between "Believe that You Can" by Jentezen Franklin and "The Trump Card" by Ivanka Trump.

Then I light my all time favorite candle, this is so awesome, and it's from Walmart!

This candle smells sooo good and hello! Pumpkin roll cake recipe on the back of that little card!

Then I go to my happy place. Mentally until I can get there physically.

AAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..... (That's something between a scream and a sigh)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Pardon my veracity but I have an exigent need to blog.

It's time for disabuse. Although at times arduous, I have no qualms about my ennui. It is my predilection that I need a swift kick to the arse. No chicanery! I have prevaricated too much and look where it's got me.

I started rather extemporaniously, but now I see I was only making things convoluted. So now, austere and audacious, I will voraciously pursue my diet/exercise plan. ***

***$3 words brought to you by the erudite, truculent folks at GRE.***

I am keeping myself accountable via this here blog. I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, about life, and it really does seem like I make things convoluted. It should be simple - take care of yourself, eat right and exercise. I am embarrassed to look at myself and it is clear that I didn't take care of myself to get this way, and all I can think is - Duh! Eating crap and not exercising, not very smart. And letting problems get me down, also taken too far. I mean, everyone has problems. Why are mine worse than others to where I am losing control? There's no need, I am seeing very clearly tonight. It's all about perspective.

I just spent an hour on the treadmill to have these revelations, huh, maybe there's something to this exercise helping mind, body, and spirit. I've read a lot of books on success and they all also mention how it starts with yourself, staying in shape sets the tone for your whole life. If you can't take care of yourself how can you take care of anything.

Lately I had been feeling so down, looking at life and feeling like I'd failed. My job is not anything I'd thought I'd have 10 years out of college, I'd put on weight -- just nowhere I thought I'd be at 31. I know the only true way to fail is to give up but really it is a struggle to keep your head above water and not get swept away by the current. It's hard to feel completely in control... Maybe that's where I went wrong, I let go.

I am finding myself feeling somewhat down but altogether optimistic. I am making changes, even though it is going to be a long road to turn around.

There's something else I need to learn, how to put a you tube video on blogs. :-o Check out that song about Turning Around!

Well, I will continue to blog about my journey. The start here is a little rocky but I am focused. I hope one year from now I will be blogging and will be close to my goal weight and in grad school.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Great! Just fabulous.

After all that talk about googling cupcake bakery names, for some reason it never occured to me to google Kaloula -- after all, I just took the first 2/3 letters from my first, middle, and last name and combined them. Surely, that was unique?

Nope, not so, I was informed.

So - I googled.

I was told it was a frog. So then of course the wheels start spinning, smoke from ears and all. I could have a really cute logo, with a cupcake and a cute little frog sitting on it! Oh, how cute! A frog! Somehow I could incorporate a cute little frog..!!

And then I made a startling discovery:

In fact, this is not a cute frog afterall. In fact! The caption under this picture read "Chubby frog" Oh! Dear.

A truly bewildering discovery indeed. Stop laughing at me.

Hahahaha. Well, ok, it is a little funny! Ah, well. I'm sticking with it, and will hope to define my own version of Kaloula.

Not to segway from that, although it is fitting, I went shopping for some new pants today. I've been putting it off and putting it off till finally I realized I'm wearing the same 2 pairs of pants over and over waiting for the others to fit. It was not easy let me tell you, to buy more.

On What Not to Wear, they talk about wearing clothes that fit and people on there have been the same as me, not wanting to go the size up.. And they say to just tear out the tag and you won't see it. I think I need to do that. I can't WAIT to give these to goodwill. Or burn them.

Chubby frog indeed.

My goal is still to lose 20 pounds by the New Year. It's not going to be easy with all the Thanksgiving and Christmas treats, but this chubby frog shopping trip was a great big motivator!

My plan? It's a combination - a little weight watchers, a lil herbalife, and a lot of exercise. And to hang my before picture up as a reminder of how I will never look again!! Perhaps a reason to keep that tag in the pants, as a shock therapy reminder, but alas, I will not.

Ok, well. That's all I got tonight. Cheers!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Canadian Thanksgiving

Last week my family was in town, in between work and school I spent as much time with them as I could. Which quite frankly was exhausting - but nice!

They arrived Monday, which, lucky for all of us, just happened to be Canadian Thanksgiving! So I cooked..

Veggies and Turkey recipes from Food and Wine Magazine

Macaroni and Cheese!!!! YUM!!!
Recipe from Pioneer Woman. Thank you for that!

And the PUMPKIN - well that was just a small bit of fabulousless that I can't wait to make again and again and heed these words, you. MAKE THIS FOR THANKSGIVING!! You won't be sorry! It's soo simple to make, get a 2-3 pound pumpkin, clean out the stringies and seeds, but keep the meat. Is it called meat? I think so. Keep the sides that are squash like.

THEN! Cut up some bread cubes and mix together with some of your favorite cheese and 2 cloves of garlic. Put them in the pumpkin. THEN! Stir nutmeg, salt, and pepper (to taste) into about a cup of heavy cream and pour it over the bread. Stick it in the oven when the turkey has about an hour left to it, bake it until you can pierce the pumpkin with a knife. I wasn't paying much attention to it to be perfectly honest with you, I just let it go ... I think it was about 45 min- 1 hour. Serve it straight from the pumpkin. Num Num Num.

Photos above courtesy Jackie Arthur. And no, we're not Canadian, eh!
The week quite unfortunately was cold and rainy, so we did what any family who sees each other twice a year at best does when it's cold and rainy. We decided to visit a haunted* cemetary.

* allegedly


Not really.

Really - the whole visit centered around FOOD and my Mommala got several not so flattering better not be shared with anyone pictures of moi. Now, I am back to being by my lonesome, me and my faithful treadmill loving pup, Onyx. Who lets me blog but somehow knows when I switch to homework and whines like a weiner when I start. No I didn't get my homework done, no no, I had a whining O punching me like a boxer whenever I started. Yes, I tried. Yes, I know who got kicked out of Project Runway last night. My dog lets me watch that. He dictates what I do. Unless I let him on the treadmill for a go.


I have yet to learn how to photoshop that mess in the background out. But it's not there right now, I swear. Stop looking at my mess and look at my silly dog anyway.

Going to switch to the homework now. GRE in one week, please everyone and anyone, send good luck my way!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I LOVE Frango Mints!!!

Before this week, I didn't know what a frango mint was. I was deprived.

But now I am enlightened and oh how glorious the world is, with the frango mints in it. I am also wickedly exhausted, having been going going going for I lost track of how many days in a row. That being said, I am short on words, but please enjoy this recipe!

Frango Mint Chip Cookies
Recipe adapted from

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup grated Marshall Field's Frango Mints
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped nuts
12 Frango Mints, halved

Cream butter, shortening and sugars until light. Add eggs, vanilla, and grated Frango Mints. Beat until creamy and well blended. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together, add to the beaten egg mixture, blending carefully. Fold in chopped nuts. Use a melon baller to scoop dough, and place half a Frango mint into the middle of each ball. Place 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 8-11 minutes. Remove cookies from cookie sheets and allow to cool on rack.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Random Thoughts on Clothes

Behold: My closet...

Yes, I color coordinate. Can't help it.

Ok, so, yeah.. what depresses me.. I can only wear maybe 40% of my closet at present. Today my mom took a picture of me and it was the old -- More Chins than a Chinese phonebook -- type of picture. I really honest to God had no idea I looked that way!!

I've been real good about eating lately. Ok, good, not "real" good. I have cut back a lot on portion sizes, but I could probably make healthier choices. Working out? Eh. Sometimes.

Here's the thing.

I just bought 4 pairs of pants. Fall pants. I want to fit into them before the season changes! See, I'm in between sizes right now. The size pants I bought, I just kinda fit in them, but to go up that would be too baggy, aside from which - who wants to buy pants in a bigger size when you're losing weight?

That's my current goal. I'm not that far from it. The pants fit if I don't mind bulges and muffin top, which I do mind thank you. There are 11 weeks left this year, if I lose the healthy 2 pounds a week each week, I should be able to lose 22 pounds and fit into about 60% percent of my closet. Not a whole lot more, but a good start, and enough to fit in my new fall pants.

Why is this so freaking hard?!?! UGH. sigh. :o)

I have taken my "Before" pictures, which I am too ashamed to share. If after losing my goal of 50 pounds, I am feeling bold, maybe, maybe, maybe then I'll share what I came from.

Ms. Ex Hot girl has started a new fabulous blog that I've joined, the Bloggerhood of the traveling not so fat pants. I'm in a bloggerhood, whoop whoop! Check it out:

I don't know how to work a button yet, but click on the words above to go to link. And what the diggy to not knowing, but I'm still learning ol blogspot here.

If you're like me and need to lose, join the bloggerhood!!
I'm a 31 year old college student, and now that I've been going to school during the day, it's mostly with students 10-12 years younger than me. And may I just say.
I was around when this was popular, and you should not be bringing it back. It's wrong. I mean, WRONG. Please pass word. Unless you are dressing up for Halloween - No-no. No. NO.

I witnessed this trend on several of the girls at school and chuckle to myself. I hope it's to myself anyway, chances are good that my non-poker face is showing my laugh at their expense. Just today, I saw a girl wearing flourescent yellow jeans, a matching t-shirt in the yellow, but with hot pink scribbles on it (!), flourescent orange belt, with clear jelly shoes. I tried shamelessly to take a picture, but it didn't turn out. I was trying to be inconspicuous but my camera phone wasn't fast enough.

Yesterday we celebrated Canadian Thankgiving and I have some FABULOUS recipes to share. I didn't take any pictures so I have to wait for my aunt to get home and email me them. Super duper fantastic Thanksgiving recipes coming soon!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mozzarella Pasta Salad

Tonight I was in the mood for a lil something different than the usual flavors I cook with. I was thinking -- artichoke! Yes! I never did like the artichoke, or rather, never really tried it till that one fateful day. (harp playing and memory cloud forming over my head)

Maybe lots of people are introduced to the artichoke this way -- Spinach artichoke dip! So smooth, so creamy, yes it's love!

Nevermind it sounds like a word Jeff Foxworthy will or may have already used in his standup -- "If you hear me scream like a ninny when I see NKOTB live, you artichoke me."

Mozzarella Pasta Salad

1 (6 oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts

1 (8 oz) package rotini pasta, cooked

1 (7oz) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and cut into strips

1/2 lb smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 in cubes

1/2 (5 oz) bag baby spinach leaves

1/2 (4.5 oz can) chopped green chiles, drained

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp pepper

Drain artichokes, reserving marinade. Cut artichokes into strips, and place in a large bowl. Add pasta and next 4 ingredients; toss gently.

Stir together reserved artichoke marinade, mayonnaise, and next 4 ingredients until blended. Add to pasta mixture, stirring to combine. Cover and chill.

481 calories/serving

Recipe from Southern Living Cookbook 2006

Monday, October 5, 2009

What happened to nice?

I see so much anger, greed and selfishness everywhere I go, it makes me ... sad. Whatever happened to nice? Where did common courtesy go? Why has goodwill gone from people's daily lives? I'm just wondering.

When shopping at a Target, I watched as a cafe employee called store security on a family who was helping themselves to a drink refill. (Hello? There's a self serve machine! Why would you limit the amount of soda people pump themselves with but put the machine in the seating area?) That's a person who is angry at the world. They were probably deprived of something in life and decided to make someone else's day just as shitty as their own.

I think people don't realize what they look like. How would the rude employee feel if, after work, they went to a bar to have a drink and unwind, and the bartender is having a personal conversation on the phone and takes 10 minutes to serve her first drink. Would they recognize that they are being treated just as they had treated their own customer? I'm betting not.

Dude. Step out of yourself and look back. See how other people see you. Do you want to be someone who is angry with the world? Focus your anger on what makes you angry, deal with it and move on. Stop spreading it!

Just today, I went to Panera to get a sandwich after work. 5 cars all pulled into the lot at the same time. The last car, whipped into the spot up front and a young girl flew out of her car, quickly walking fast as she could to beat everyone converging towards the door at the same time... in front of the sweet elderly people walking in together. (So cute, helping each other to the door, the type of marriage I hope mine will be at that age)

"C'mon Mah, Let's go get some supper at Panera, ooh they make those delicious sandwiches you like so well!"
"Ok darling, that will save me a night of cooking and no clean up! Splendid!"
"It's chilly dear, get your sweater"
**Drives to the Panera, getting cut off by young girl running inside to be served first! Didn't even hold door for sweet elderly couple**
"Let's not stand between that girl and food, eh?!"
"Poor dear, must be starving, that one"

That's selfish -- take maybe 2 minutes of your life, get your food 2 minutes later, to show some courtesy to sweet elderly people! They are living your future. What is wrong with people!

Michael Jackson said "If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change" Ok so I'm working on not glaring at or passing judgement on the stupid selfish idiots of the world. I'm not perfect nor do I claim to be, but I'll tell you one thing. I am looking at myself and trying to make a change. I would like to do something major too but I haven't figured out what that is. I'll let you know when I do!

In the meantime - smile at a stranger, hold the door for the person behind you. Say thank you if the door is held open for you. If someone cuts you off or lets a door close in your face, please stop spreading the rudeness. Be grateful you are not that rude person and keep on spreading cheer. Spirit fingers, yeah! I realized I'm sounding a little hokey but in all seriousness, the world needs less rude idiots and more nice people. Why not start with you?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pumpkin Muffins

Oh Sweet Sassy Molassey, Happy Day!!

After getting an insider tip (thanks S!) I finally found pumpkin! It was a trip filled with anticipation, after being told there was pumpkin there, I rushed to the Pig immediately! I'm not familiar with the grocery store, so, basket in hand, tried to dodge assorted slow people with carts, less they try to find pumpkin before me. It was like the don't run in the halls run/walk you did back in the days of school - Run quickly to the first aisle, slow down - read the sign - no, not here, run to the next aisle, slow down, read the sign..

For the record, I *tried* to act calm and collected and did not run over any sweet elderly people.

And there it was - the baking aisle! Oh no, there's 2 people down there, what if they're getting pumpkin! Say it ain't so. As they walk by, take a bit of a peek in their cart, nope, no pumpkin, phew. I can't believe what this has come to.

Then I found the pie fillings - apple, no, peach, no, blueberry, NO! Where's the pumpkin!! I crouched down low to read the tiny labels, and there it was pumpkin, right underneath a big empty space. In a last hopeful effort I get down low and reach - kinda like those orange juice commercials where they reach way into the orange groves for their carton of juice - and aha!!! 2 cans waaaay in the back! Success! HOORAY!!

I finally get to use my pumpkin pan, check out how cute this is!!

It was only $10, you can get one for yourself here!

Pumpkin Muffins
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Sift the above ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.

3 eggs at room temperature
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 tsp extract - I like to play with extracts. This time I used 1 tsp each of vanilla, maple, and orange. Feel free to use your favorites, or just use vanilla.

In a large bowl, mix these ingredients together until well combined. Slowly blend in the sifted ingredients until just mixed. Stir in one can of pumpkin.

Bake in a 325 degree oven. For the pumpkin muffins, 18-20 minutes. I also made mini loaves - those took 20-22 minutes, until your tester comes out clean.

I did sample - just one! Ok, two, they're small, and the rest are sitting, beckoning, in my kitchen. Any takers? Now.. to the treadmill!!